Healthy Start is a multiyear program focused on overcoming childhood malnutrition in the Ixil region of Guatemala which was negatively impacted by the decades long Guatemalan civil war. The program is focused on reducing chronic childhood malnutrition. The primary strategies of the program include:
- Establish a network of Community Health Brigadistas to actively work in the villages to provide and promote health measures
- Provide prenatal care to pregnant women and early childhood care to children, such as immunizations
- Provide nutritional supplements in villages where food scarcity occurs
- Increase food production from local gardens for both local use and for agribusiness
The Healthy Start program was off to a successful start when two severe hurricanes hit Central American within two weeks in November 2020. Agros had team members on the ground assisting the Healthy Start communities recover from the damage, and to their credit were able to achieve the program’s first year goals despite the hurricane setbacks.
The impact of the program has gained attention in Guatemala and Agros was recently invited by the Guatemalan government to present the details of Healthy Start to key members of Congress and the Ministry of Food Security and Nutrition. Partnership and support of the government is a key long-term strategy to increasing the scale of the program and impact across the impoverished regions of the country.
For more information see the Healthy Start spring newsletter.